BRUINS ARE NO JOKE
Sorry, I should have warned you to sit down before I said that.
Anyway, in my preseason predictions, I selected the Buffalo Sabres as the best team in the Northeast Division ahead of Boston.
My rationale was the Sabres had made some nice upgrades to an already good team and that coupled with what was sure to be a Stanley Cup hangover for Boston would equate to them switching positions in the division.
So, when Boston got off to a sluggish start, I was feeling pretty smart.
Now, I'm going to take that fleeting feeling of intelligence and correct my mistake:
These Bruins are very, very good.
I don't just say that because they came into Philadelphia today and walloped the Flyers 6-0 in a game that was for first place in the Eastern Conference.
No. I say that because I am certain that this 18-2-1 run after a 3-7-0 start is legit and should be taken as a sign that they aren't going to give up the Cup easily.
As a matter of fact, I may have to change my Eastern Conference champion prediction (Pittsburgh), but I'll wait a little longer to correct that possible error in judgement.
Here's the thing with Boston - everyone talks about their size and their defense and their goaltending, but they are a very fast team. They out-skated the Flyers considerably Saturday - and the Flyers have made their own bones in the East this season with their speed and pursuit.
Boston looked twice as fast.
Of course, the defense is still there. Zdeno Chara is a hammer. It's a shame the Flyers lost faith in Dennis Seidenberg, because he's as solid as they come.
And what more can you say about Tim Thomas? He might be Benjamin Button, because he's getting better, quicker and more complete as he ages.
As much as you have to like where the Flyers are right now, especially with five concussed players out of the lineup and Andreas Lilja recovering from a high ankle sprain, you have to wonder even if they were completely healthy if they could beat this Boston team in a seven-game series.
Right now, I don't believe they can.